There are many differences between the United States and Kuwait when it comes to things like the economy and social spending. The countries have different needs, different sizes, and different populations, which leads to significant differences in policy. The minimum wage for private sector employees is $198 US per month, an incredibly low figure. The average monthly salary in the country is above $3,000, so given the relatively prosperity in Kuwait, the minimum wage does not often come into play. In the United States, the minimum wage is paid hourly. It is $7.25 per hour on the national level, meaning that states are not allowed to set their minimum wage below that. Some states and some cities have gone above this, bumping the minimum wage to up to $15 to try and provide employees with the opportunity to pay their basic expenses from their work.
Kuwait has a system of universal healthcare, meaning that the government pays the tab for the health expenses of citizens. One problem with this, though, is availability. Many people go to other countries for major procedures because of the wait times and because of concerns over doctors. In the US, there is no universal health, though there is a law that provides subsidies for people who cannot afford healthcare. People buy insurance through the private marketplace, which is regulated by the states. In addition, there are federal systems, such as Medicare and Medicaid, to provide health insurance for vulnerable populations.
Kuwait has no personal income tax, but it does collect a tax for social security in order to pay for some social programs. It also collects taxes from expatriates and from businesses operating within the country. The social safety net is not particularly strong in the country. In the US, there is a progressive tax rate, with higher yearly incomes being taxed higher. This helps to fund an entire network of social services, including everything from health to welfare to housing and even food assistance.
- Meleis, A. I. (1979). The health care system of Kuwait: The social paradoxes. Social Science & Medicine. Part A: Medical Psychology & Medical Sociology, 13, 743-749.
- Oberlander, J. (2012). The future of Obamacare. New England Journal of Medicine, 367(23), 2165-2167.